Alabama lawmakers consider bill to make secret vehicle compartments illegal –

(PA UNION TWP 20011206 Bundles of cash smothered in grease and wrapped in CI) Saran wrap lays in a secret compartment . FILE (CHRIS KNIGHT)Harrisburg Patriot-News
Alabama legislators are considering a bill that would make it illegal to create secret compartments in vehicles to hide drugs, weapons, and even people, from law enforcement officers.
As the law exists, officers cannot search locked secret compartments in vehicles. That requires a separate search warrant, according to Senate Bill 207 co-sponsor Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, who is minority leader of the Alabama Senate.
“They can’t go into the lock,” Singleton said. “They have to go back and find a judge and come back.”
That’s a waste of time, which law enforcement officers don’t have, according to Singleton, and could lead to missed opportunities to stop drug trafficking. “So, this is giving them another tool in their toolbox to be able to seize drugs and drug traffickers.”
But the bill doesn’t stop with thwarting drug traffickers. It also aims to prevent human trafficking in the state.
Singleton explained the bill covers vehicles up to 60,000 lbs., which includes transfer trucks. “A lot of these big trucks are putting in false gas tanks, but they’re really a secret compartment and they are hiding people inside of those,” Singleton said.
The bill would make it unlawful to operate any vehicle with the knowledge it contains a secret compartment; to create a secret compartment; or to sell, trade or dispose of a vehicle with a secret compartment. Vehicles in violation would be seized as contraband and persons found guilty could be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, according to the bill’s language.
“The bottom line is they are looking for drugs – cocaine and marijuana,” Singleton said. “This bill is a proactive bill that is trying to get drugs under control that are going in and out of our state … We want to make sure they have every tool in their toolbox to keep drugs out of our communities.”
The Alabama Law Enforcement Association backs the bill, Singleton said.
Singleton said the House added an amendment to the bill Thursday night to clarify the compartments in question are added after the factory and do not include compartments created by vehicle manufacturers or offered as accessories by the manufacturers or dealers.
Singleton said Friday he felt the addition was a “friendly amendment” he agreed with and anticipates being able to move forward with SB207.
According to the Alabama Legislative Services Agency on Monday the bill goes back to the Senate for concurrence with the House amendment or to a conference committee. That means final passage could come Tuesday or later this week, which is the last week of the legislature’s 2022 regular session. If enacted, the bill, which has had bi-partisan support, would then go to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey for her to sign into law.
Concealed by KentFaulk on Scribd
Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.
Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (User Agreement updated 1/1/21. Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement updated 5/1/2021).
Cookie Settings
© 2022 Advance Local Media LLC. All rights reserved (About Us).
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local.
Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site.
Ad Choices LogoAd Choices


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *